Farrier said I could start riding him, but I don't think he's ready... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 06-15-2011, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Question Farrier said I could start riding him, but I don't think he's ready...

My rescue pony is foundered and I decided he'll be a pasture ornament for years or maybe forever.
Now farrier says I should start riding him, only in walk on flat surface, that it'll do him good, because more he'll work, less possibilities that laminitis will come back. I lunge him everyday and his weight is great.
I just don't think he is well enough to be ridden. He is not lame until circles are very small. And he is a little devil when he starts to play with mare. He runs, bucks, rears, no problems. He's not shoed and he walks very carefully on hard surface, but as soon as he can move on grass he's ok.
His hooves aren't in the correct shape yet.
What do you think? It's a year and a half after his last laminitis attack.


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post #2 of 26 Old 06-15-2011, 07:51 AM
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If you trust your farrier to take proper care of your horses then you should trust him here.

Though if you do not want to ride your pony, don't.

I would think riding, instead of lunging, would be better for the rest of him though. Going in circles on a lunge every day is not the best thing for his joints and such.
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post #3 of 26 Old 06-15-2011, 08:46 AM
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I agree that if you don't want to ride pony then you shouldn't. However, a foundered pony/horse does not need to be retired to being a pasture ornament. This is especially true if the pony had grass foundered.

Case in point: I bought a POA/Quarter Pony for my Grandchildren that had grass foundered a short few years before I bought her. I knew the pony so I was confident she would be just fine with being rode. Her time on pasture had to be managed when the new grass of Spring and early Summer came on. At those times she had to be drylotted to prevent a reoccurrence. She got hay free choice when she needed drylotting and just a hand-full of grain daily. As the Summer months came on she could be pastured 24/7. In the time we owned her she had one episode of laminitis, because I didn't pull her off the pasture soon enough.

Even my husband and I rode her to keep her sane undersaddle for our grandchildren.
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post #4 of 26 Old 06-15-2011, 09:30 AM
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A year and 1/2 after the laminitis episode, the original hoof should be completely grown out. (It takes around a year to grow a hoof top-to-bottom). So that is probably why the farrier is giving you the green light to ride him.

I don't know much about laminitis really, so I won't speculate on more than that.
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post #5 of 26 Old 06-15-2011, 11:44 AM
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If you are that unsure, have your vet come and do a full assesment to help you out with your decision :)

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post #6 of 26 Old 06-15-2011, 09:22 PM
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I agree with everyone that if you don't want to ride him, then IMO you shouldn't. But from the point of view of his health & soundness, more work(& less lunging circles) would likely be good for him.... depending on the specifics.

Comfort is of primary importance IMO and if he's kept well trimmed & you can boot him, keep him on yielding surfaces, etc, so that he can comfortably use his feet *correctly*, then go for it. I would hesitate to work him on hard or flat surfaces if his walls are weightbearing however and would also pad his feet to comfortably support the sole/frog(& reduce any pressure on walls) when on unyielding flat ground.

At a year & a half since the laminitis 'attack', if his feet aren't yet in good shape, I would hazard a guess that it was far more than just 'an attack' - it was probably the final straw of an unrecognised ongoing chronic situation. There are many other factors, including diet & exercise, that influence how quickly/slowly things may improve. Eg you say his weight's good now, but if it wasn't until a few months ago, or he's still getting rich feed or such, he may have been still suffering ongoing lami due to insulin resistance or some such. However, if your farrier has effectively trimmed in order to remove the leverage & excess pressure from the disconnected walls, then so long as his soles are padded for comfort/protection, the horse *generally speaking of course* should be able to work & even carry you soon after the 'event'.

Of course, remember the above - & any other opinions you get - are just that and based on only a little info from you. So don't take anything as 'fact', but do your own homework, learn as much as you can & consider the opinions you get, to try to make the best most informed choices. On that note, hoofrehab.com is one good source for you to learn more. You could also post hoof pics here, if you'd like more specific opinions. Good Hoof Photos - How to take Good Hoof Photos is a good source for learning what's required for best hoof pics.
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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It was more than just that 'attack' (I was talking about the last one he had), he was feed incorrectly who knows for how long... Farrier says that his left front bone is probably rotated, and that he probably will never be completly normal, although it is getting better. I have him for almost year and a half and since then he is only feed hay (that is soaked for few hours so it contains less sugar), flax seed and vitamins/minerals. He is on a field with almost no grass, and if I take horses to graze he wears grazing muzzle. He wasn't overweight for a year.
He works on a lunge everyday and I agree it's not good for his joints, but I have to keep him working. Riding would make things easier.
I trust this farrier, I looked for him for quite long and he did a very good job with my mare's hooves.
I'll take pics of pony's hooves and post them here. It will help me make a decision if you see how are his hooves.

Thanks for help :)


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post #8 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 05:03 PM
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I wouldn't go hauling bootie across the pasture, but light riding couldn't hurt.
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-17-2011, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Here are the pics, you'll see why I'm worried if it would be smart to ride him.

Right front hoof:


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post #10 of 26 Old 06-17-2011, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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sorry, computer is causing problems... Still have some pictures...


Last edited by manca; 06-17-2011 at 12:58 PM.
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